My May 2018 Spotify Playlist

Every month or two, I create a new Spotify playlist. Quite frankly, Spotify is probably my favorite internet based music application. For ten bones a month, I get access to pretty much any song I want, at any time. So naturally, I like to create playlists. There is no real rhyme or reason to the songs that I add to my playlists, except they all have one thing in common. I like them. I suppose my mood has a lot to do with my monthly list of songs, perhaps the time of year as well. I would like to share with you this months tunes. Maybe you can find some inspiration, something you’ve never heard, or rediscover some greatness. You will notice I added an entire Alice Cooper album; Killers. This was no mistake. Great record by one of my favorites.

ARTIST SONG ALBUM
Mastodon High Road Once More ‘Round The Sun
Anthrax Indians Among The Living
Alice Cooper Under My Wheels Killer
Alice Cooper Be My Lover Killer
Alice Cooper Halo Of Flies Killer
Alice Cooper Desperado Killer
Alice Cooper You Drive Me Nervous Killer
Alice Cooper Yeah, Yeah, Yeah Killer
Alice Cooper Dead Babies Killer
Alice Cooper Killer Killer
Alice In Chains We Die Young Facelift
Clutch The Mob Goes Wild Blast Tyrant (Deluxe Edition)
The Damned Love Song Machine Gun Etiquette
Deftones My Own Summer (Shove It) Around The Fur
Doom Side of the Moon Wish You Were Here Encore
DOWN Witchtripper Down IV Part I – The Purple EP
Eagles Of Death Metal Don’t Speak Death By Sexy
Explosions In The Sky Your Hand In Mine The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place
Faith No More Easy Angel Dust (Deluxe Edition)
Faith No More I Started a Joke – Live Faith No More: Live in Germany 2009
Fu Manchu King Of The Road King Of The Road
High On Fire Snakes For The Divine Snakes For The Divine
Iggy Pop I’m Bored New Values
Iron Maiden The Number Of The Beast Somewhere Back In Time
Quiet Riot Metal Health (Bang Your Head) Metal Health
Slayer Seasons In The Abyss Seasons In The Abyss
David Bowie Modern Love – 1999 Remastered Version Let’s Dance
Sleep Marijuanaut’s Theme The Sciences
Slaughter Eye To Eye Mass Slaughter
Anthrax Got The Time Persistence Of Time
Pallbearer Love You to Death Fear & Fury EP
Van Halen Unchained The Collection
Ozzy Osbourne Over The Mountain Prince Of Darkness
T. Rex Telegram Sam The Slider
Rage Against The Machine Bulls On Parade Evil Empire
Megadeth Public Enemy No. 1 Th1rt3en
Slayer Gemini Undisputed Attitude
The Raconteurs Carolina Drama Consolers Of The Lonely
The Rolling Stones Can’t You Hear Me Knocking Sticky Fingers (Remastered)
Skid Row Monkey Business Slave To The Grind
Soundgarden Live to Rise Avengers Assemble
Cream White Room Wheels Of Fire (Remastered)
Black Wizard Harsh Time New Waste
Neil Young Heart Of Gold Harvest (Remastered Version)
Yes Owner Of A Lonely Heart 90125
The Sword Tres Brujas Warp Riders
Misfits Saturday Night Famous Monsters
Faith No More Motherfucker Sol Invictus
ZZ Top Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers The Very Baddest
Queens of the Stone Age 3’s & 7’s Era Vulgari
The Smashing Pumpkins Disarm Siamese Dream (2011 – Remaster)
Nirvana Very Ape In Utero – 20th Anniversary Remaster
Nirvana Lake Of Fire MTV Unplugged In New York
Gary Numan / Tubeway Army Down in the Park Replicas Redux
The Payolas Eyes Of A Stranger 20th Century Masters
Roky Erickson Night of the Vampire The Evil One
Sleep Dragonaut Sleep’s Holy Mountain
Truckfighters Desert Cruiser Gravity X
Red Fang Wires Murder the Mountains (Deluxe Version)
Black Sabbath Children of the Grave Master of Reality (Remastered Edition)
Clutch Electric Worry From Beale Street to Oblivion
Megadeth Holy Wars…The Punishment Due Rust In Peace
Kylesa Scapegoat Static Tensions

 

Daily Tonality: Song Of The Day 01/05/18

January 5, 2018

Today’s song is brought to you by putting my Spotify library on random and making the first song to play your Daily Tonality.

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Alice In Chains – Rooster (from the album Dirt, 1992) Damn, AIC was a great band back in the day. I am not saying they are bad now, I’m just saying. This song, and album for that fact, reminds me of high school and rolling around in my friend Paul’s Buick Skylark. For me, besides Nirvana, Alice In Chains epitomized Grunge music during that whole Seattle invasion thing. The video is pretty rad as well.

Little Fact – Guitarist/song writter Jerry Cantrell wrote Rooster as a tribute to his Vietnam war veteran father.

T.

List-o-rama: My Five Favorite Guitar Players

My Five Favorite Guitar Players

picture-014At some point in a young man, or lady’s life, they want to become a rock star. Which kid does not want an electric guitar? A lot of people give up when they realize it is mostly just a pipe dream. There are those who stick with it and actually learn how to play the guitar. I got the bug when I was fourteen, and picked up my first six string; an awfully indistinct Squire Stratocaster. I stuck with it for the most part, and twenty five some years later I still play and enjoy it. Every aspiring musician needs a hero. A player to aspire to. For me, I have many guitar inspirations. For the sake of not getting too carried away, I will keep the list of guitar players to a minimum. This list is not based on technical skill. Skill is good, but there are so many other factors that go into these decisions; look, feel, sound, and cool factor all go a long way. Here is my list, in no particular order.

139816178_iommi_467853cTony Iommi (Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell)  This is the man that created heavy music as far as I’m concerned. Armed with his signature Gibson SG, Iommi’s guttural guitar sound changed popular music. His down tuned (one and a half steps) came out of necessity as he lost the tips of his fingers in a work accident. The looser strings were easier for him to bend. One of the first songs I learned was the Black Sabbath Classic Iron Man, and I still enjoy playing many of their other songs. As Sabbath winds down their extraordinary career, Iommi still goes out on stage every night and kills it. Not to mention this legend has been battling Lymphoma, and is currently in remission. So many bands and guitar players owe Tony Iommi and Black Sabbath for having the success they have.

6186089295_1bfcc46b85_bPepper Keenan (Corrosion of Conformity, Down) I love the dirty southern sludge guitar sound, and Pepper Keenan knows how to create some swampy stoner rock riffs. When I first hear Down‘s NOLA many moons ago, I fell in love with the sound. Soon after that, I discovered Keenan played a Gibson Firebird and I was sold. His playing fits in with modern metal, but he would also fit right in with classic southern rock bands like Lynard Skynard. He runs a lot of the same effects pedals that I use or used to use on my board. Pepper also owns a bar in New Orleans called Le Bon Temps Roule. This is one pretty cool guy, not to mention a hell of a guitar player.

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Buzz Osborne (Melvins, Fantômas, Crystal Fairy) King Buzzo! Perhaps the man responsible for the “Seattle sound” that came roaring into popular culture in the early nineties, this man, along with Melvins drummer Dale Crover, has been the one constant in sludge music for nearly three decades. Buzz is unique from top to bottom; his look, his playing style, right to his political and social views. Perhaps what I admire the most is the respect he receives from his peers, as he is always collaborating with other artists such as Mike Patton, Tool, and Jello Biafra. Just to add to his mystique, my friend Earl and I went to see a Melvins show a few years back. As we were coming into the club, King Buzzo was walking in. Earl got excited and grabbed Osborne by the arm (in a non threatening way). Buzz responded with one of the most amazing death stares I have ever witnessed.

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Matt Pike (Sleep, High On Fire) To put it mildly, Matt Pike is a beast. If this was an alternate universe, he’d be slaying dragons. He writes the heaviest riffs, and has the voice to match as the guitarist/singer for one of my favourite bands, High On Fire. I should mention that he is also guitar player for doom metal giants Sleep. He is all that, and does it never wearing a shirt while performing live. I have had the pleasure of seeing both High On Fire and Sleep perform in person, and they are among two of the best shows I can recall. If you are interested in getting your feet wet in the doom/stoner metal genre, listen to Sleep’s Dopesmoker. I feel it is a genre defining record, and Matt Pike is at the helm.

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Joshua Homme (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures) There was a time about fifteen years ago where I kind of lost interest in playing guitar. I just wasn’t feeling it. Then I heard Queens of the Stone Age debut, self-titled album. I was suddenly interested again. I can safely say that QOTSA is my favourite band of all-time. Perhaps Joshua Homme is the biggest influence on my playing. Some people say he is arrogant, a little bit of a prick, but those people also haven’t made albums with guys like Dave Grohl, John Paul Jones, or Iggy Pop. Homme’s sound is always evolving, and his song writing just gets better. In a sea of endless alt-rock and pop garbage, QOTSA and Homme’s other projects prove that rock ‘n roll still has a pulse. For a kid who played polka music on the guitar for his first two years of lessons, he does pretty good for himself. Oh, and he is also the drummer for Eagles of Death Metal. I’ve said enough.

T.

 

 

Riff of the Day BLACK SABBATH – Hole in the Sky

March 5, 2016

RIFF OF THE DAY LOGO

black-sabbath-artist-page-pic-zumicBlack Sabbath – Hole in the Sky (from the album Sabotage, 1975 Vertigo/Warner Bros.) The inventors of doom were in town last night, and I missed them. I saw them a few years ago, but it still would have been great to witness Black Sabbath one last time. The band is one of the main reasons I play guitar and listen to heavy music to this day. Tony Iommi, in my eyes, invented doom metal on his Gibson SG. From Ozzy to Dio and in between, Black Sabbath went about their business and changed rock n roll.

Sabbath Factoid: The title of their sixth album Sabotage was named as such because the band were entangled in a legal battle with former management. According to Iommi, the band felt as if were being “sabotaged all the way along the line and getting punched from all sides“. This lead to the album having a heavier, more aggressive sound.

T.

 

12 Riffs of Christmas DIO and Iommi- God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

tumblr_mf7kqzjsan1qdev51o1_1280Dio & Tony IommiGod Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (from the compilation We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year, 2008 Armoury Records) Perhaps the the last couple of legends that come to mind when you think of Christmas songs, Ronnie James Dio and Tony Iommi bring us the finest in Yuletide metal. These former Black Sabbath and Heaven and Hell mates made heavy music what it is today, so of course they have every right to do what they like regarding Christmas. I have had the honor and pleasure of seeing these amazing men in concert. The late, great Dio had one of the best voices in music. God rest, ye merry Gentleman. One of a kind.

T.

12 Riffs of Christmas AUGUST BURNS RED – CAROL OF THE BELLS

mi0003440877August Burns Red – Carol of the Bells (from the album August Burns Red Presents: Sleddin’ Hill A Holiday Album, 2012 Solid State) These good Christian boys are one of technical metal’s finest bands. The entire Holiday album the released in 2012 is actually quite spectacular. The all-traditional track listing is done up all heavy, but enjoyably so. It may not be your thing, but these guys are undeniably talented. Carol of the Bells is one of my favorite Christmas songs, so I chose their version to share with you. The fancy light show in the video is just a bonus.

T.

 

12 Riffs of Christmas GWAR – Stripper Christmas Summer Weekend

screen-shot-2012-12-20-at-1-03-42-pmGWAR – Stripper Christmas Summer Weekend (from the album Bloody Pit of Horror, 2010 Metal Blade) There are many different Christmas traditions around the world. For example, in the Ukraine, trees are decorated with spider webs because according to legend a “magic spider” will spin webs of gold and silver for the less fortunate. People in the Czech Republic are taught not to eat anything on Christmas eve until a large feast is prepared in hopes to see the “golden pig” appear. In Iceland, there are thirteen troll-like Santa characters that come down from the mountain during the holidays to bring children gifts or rotten potatoes, depending on the child’s behavior. If you are in the band GWAR, you celebrate Christmas in the summer, over a whole weekend, with strippers. It may not be conventional, but who is going to argue with those guys. I have also included a video of GWAR doing some caroling. Ho Ho Ho.

T.

Riff of the Day (Nov 12) 3 Inches Of Blood – Battles and Brotherhood

3 Inches Of Blood – Battles and Brotherhood (from the album Here Waits Thy Doom, Century Media Records, 2009) Sadly, 3IOB played their final show this past weekend in their home town of Vancouver. For the past ten years, these guys were the premier Canadian metal band. They have shared the stage with some of the biggest heavy metal acts in the world, and I was fortunate enough to see them on play on three occasions. I would love to dedicate Battles and Brotherhood to 3 Inches Of Blood. Thank you for the years of keeping metal strong in Canada and beyond. Thanks boys! Crank this son-of-a-bitch up.

T.

Riff of the Day 10/14/15 Slayer – Raining Blood

Slayer – Raining Blood (from the album Reign in Blood, Def Jam 1986) A bonified thrash metal anthem, Raining Blood is one of those songs that when you hear it, you can’t help but think “Oh hell yeah!”. The riff was written by Jeff Hanneman (RIP) and Kerry King, and thirty years later it is still as heavy as it was then. From the haunting rain storm intro until the last note, Raining Blood is mean and blistering, everything that Slayer represents. I will never forget the first time I saw Slayer perform.  There was three inch layer of beer on the ground, and my brain stopped working. That was the night I saw the devil, and it was beautiful.

Make sure you listen to Slayer’s brand new record REPENTLESS (Nuclear Blast), available now wherever you might buy your music.

T.

Riff of the Day 10/13/15 – White Zombie THUNDER KISS ’65

White Zombie – Thunder Kiss ’65 (from the album La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Volume One, 1992 Geffen) Easily one of my favorite bands from the 90’s, I saw White Zombie perform in Vancouver in 1996. The stage performance was visually insane, Zombie-style. This band was truly an original, not really fitting into any typical mold as far as music goes, and this album crushes. Muscle cars, monsters, and go-go dancers; what else could you ask for out of band?

T.